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Can Jody Talk? (standard:Inspirational stories, 864 words)
Author: Pamela JenkinsAdded: Jan 14 2003Views/Reads: 2460/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
For whom does the bell toll? When the telephone rings at our home, sometimes it's for the birds.

We first became acquainted with Miss Lilly through a visitation program
in our new church.  We had just moved to a rural community, and we felt 
this would be a great way to make new friends.  Miss Lilly was 
homebound and we were told that she enjoyed having people come to visit 

"It's best if you call her first, though," advised our minister with a
smile.  "Lilly doesn't see very well, and she likes to know who comes 
knocking at her door." 

A visit was arranged, and we drove over to her modest home on the edge
of town.  When we knocked at the screen door, we heard the excitement 
in her voice when she called to us to come in.  We found her sitting on 
the sofa in her living room, a tiny frail lady with white halo of hair. 
The television was tuned to a game show and the volume was high.  As 
she fumbled with the remote control to lower the sound, we realized 
that Miss Lilly was blind. 

In spite of her physical handicaps, Miss Lilly had a bright outlook on
life.  She loved to visit with people, in person or on the telephone.  
She had an endearing way of speaking her mind. 

Although she was a widow and had no children, Miss Lilly had a constant
companion in her life.  Jody had lived with Miss Lilly for many years.  
The pretty piebald cockatiel was her pride and joy.  He loved to sit 
near Miss Lilly so they could talk and sing together.  There was a 
special bond between the elderly woman and her feathered friend. 

We frequently visited Miss Lilly and Jody over the next few years.  We
enjoyed the visits as much as they did.  Often, Miss Lilly would call 
me on the telephone just to pass the time of day.  In the background, I 
would hear Jody's singing. 

One day while driving home from work, my husband passed the little home
on the edge of town.  He saw a crowd of people at the front door.  An 
ambulance with lights flashing was parked in the driveway.  My husband 
pulled over to the side of the road and hurried through the front gate 
and up the steps to her porch. 

Miss Lilly had fallen from her wheelchair and had a broken shoulder. 
She was strapped down on a stretcher and was being carried out of the 
front door.  My husband leaned over her and said, "Miss Lilly, it's 
Stan.  Is there anything I can do for you?" 

"Oh, I'm so glad you're here," she said in a trembling voice.  "Please
take my Jody home with you!  I can't leave my Jody here all alone."  My 
husband assured her that the bird would be in good hands until she 
returned home and was ready to take him back. 

The first few days in our home, Jody didn't make a sound.  He was used
to lots of noise and visitors, but we could tell that he was out of his 
environment and was missing his owner. 

About a week after Miss Lilly went into the hospital, we got a phone
call from her.  She was being moved to a nearby nursing home, and 
wanted to check on her bird.  "Can Jody talk?" she asked.  I answered 
her honestly, that Jody didn't seem to have much to say since he came 
to be with us.  He was being very quiet. 

"No," she said patiently, "I mean, can Jody come to the phone?" 

"Oh!  I'm sorry, I didn't understand, of course Jody can talk to you!" 
I held the telephone out to the perch Jody sat on.  I said, "Jody, you 
have a call." 

For the next few minutes, Jody listened with his topknot standing at
attention while Miss Lilly spoke to him through the receiver.  He 
seemed to recognize the voice coming through the strange thing I held 
in my hands, although he didn't quite understand what it was all about. 

That was the first of many phone calls Jody received while living with
us.  Miss Lilly would call from her room in the nursing home.  She 
would ask how I was doing, about the children, and we would talk about 
other things.  But always, before we hung up, she would ask, "Can Jody 
talk?"  After a while, Jody would whistle and chirp back to the 
telephone.  I could hear Miss Lilly laugh when he told her that he was 
being a "pretty boy". 

We never knew how old Jody was.  Miss Lilly was his second owner, and
she told us that he had lived with her about ten years.  He spent 
another six years in our home, becoming part of our family. 

Miss Lilly and Jody each passed away peacefully just a few days apart. 
It was a sad time for our family, as we had come to love both of them.  
I miss the visits and telephone conversations with my good friend.   I 
also miss hearing Jody's cheerful whistle when I walk into a room.  I 
am comforted, though, by the thought that somewhere up in heaven, a 
little lady and her cockatiel have been reunited at last.


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